When faced with buying outdoor furniture, wicker furniture is the most popular. However, most people do not know that wicker pertains to a group of natural or manmade materials such as rattan, cane, willow, grasses, rush, reed, splints, resins, and vinyl. It also refers to the weaving process by which the abovementioned materials are turned into modern furniture.
Wickerwork is an old technique that use natural materials to create furniture. To make the weaving process easy, the selected natural materials are moistened. Synthetic materials like vinyl and resin are also used to create wicker furniture.
Compared to other furniture items using other production techniques, furniture manufactured through the wicker pattern are sturdier and firmer. To know more about wicker furniture, read below.
Classes of Wicker
- Conventional Wicker
Conventional wicker furniture is made from natural materials. They are perfect in creating indoor furniture – for the bedroom, living room, and dining room. Wicker outdoor furniture made from natural materials may be used outdoors; however, frequent exposure to too much heat and moisture damaged them easily.
- Manmade Wicker
Manmade or synthetic wicker appeared only recently. The high demand for inexpensive but sturdier wicker material gave rise to synthetic wicker like vinyl and resin.
Made from plastic, vinyl and resins are cut into very thin segments and woven to cover the frame of furniture. Synthetic wicker furniture is ideal for the outdoors because they are highly resistant to the UV rays of the sun and moisture. They require low upkeep.
Different Kinds of Wicker Materials
- Rattan is the most common material used to build wicker furniture. Taken from Calamus, a climbing plant, rattan grows faster (36 inches/day). Considered as a renewable material, rattan is highly abundant because they grow faster. With rattan, nothing is wasted. The skin is processed as a cane, while its pithy interior is cut into reeds of different sizes and utilized for wickerwork. Rattan furniture is durable, strong, and weather resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use.
- Taken from the peeled off bark of rattan, the rattan skin is cut into even strips. The final product is then utilized to build seats and backs of chairs using the weaving process. Cane wicker material is usually utilized for the legs of tables and chairs that make them easier to clean. A moist cloth can remove dirt and dust quickly. Just make sure, however, that you wring the cloth well. A too wet cloth will make the furniture too brittle.
- Referring to the pithy interior of rattan, the reed is processed into different sizes and shapes like flat, wedge, and round. Reed comes from the plant genera Phragmites and Arundo.
- Willow is a natural material from willow trees and shrubs. Coming from the United States and Europe, they are available in shades of blonde and feature small loops or knots where branches were removed for processing.
- A member of the grass family, bamboo has a tough outer skin comparable to rattan. It is woven into furniture and is vulnerable to moisture. For people who wants quality wicker furniture that is less expensive, bamboo furniture is a good pick.
The Wicker Weaving Process
The hands are used in the wicker weaving process. A wicker furniture may take between 1 to 4 days to finish depending on the type and complexity of the furniture piece. Tighter weaves require more time, making it costlier.
The materials go through a range of processes aside from the weaving process. This may include two or more of the following:
Wicker furniture in the living room will bring a welcome change in your home. It will make your home fashionable and give it an entirely new look. You can easily adapt a traditional aesthetic or casual beach setting with wicker furniture. Those that maintain their natural color and feature 3-dimensional weave brings an organic, fanciful, and textural look to your living space. It gets even better if the wicker modern furniture is colored.